How many new suns could emerge in the Milky Way in the future?

Chinese astronomers plan to use the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), by far the largest telescope ever built, to search for birthplaces of new suns so they can better understand how stars and life substances are formed.

Astronomers at the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently caught the birth of a dark molecular cloud for the first time by using three telescopes of the United States and Europe. The discovery was published in the Astrophysical Journal, and introduced by the journal Nature as a research highlight.

Li Di, chief scientist of FAST, said hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe and the main raw material for star formation, exists mainly in the form of atoms in the universe.

Only after the hydrogen atoms turn into hydrogen molecules, can gravitational collapse and nuclear fusion reactions be triggered, thus lighting up new stars, Li explained.

“The key step of turning hydrogen atoms into hydrogen molecules happens on the surface of cosmic dust,” said Li.

Scientists found dark regions in the universe that are rich in atomic and molecular gases and cosmic dust, known as interstellar dark clouds, which are the birthplaces of new stars, new planets, and possibly life.

However, the interstellar dark clouds have the lowest temperature in the Milky Way, about minus 263 degrees Celsius. It is difficult to identify hydrogen atoms and molecules in the dark clouds at this low temperature.

Chinese astronomers developed a new observation method, called HI Narrow Self-Absorption. By using this method and the radio telescopes at the Arecibo Observatory and the Five College Radio Astronomical Observatory in the United States, as well as the European Hershel Space Observatory, the Chinese research team discovered dark cloud B227, which has an outer “shell” of atomic hydrogen, but a core dominated by molecular hydrogen.

“Our analysis showed the dark cloud is about 6 million years old; it’s still a baby. A new sun will be born inside that cloud,” said Li.

“Tens of thousands of interstellar dark clouds have been found previously, but this was the first time we got a look at a molecular cloud when it’s born,” Li said.

The discovery made Li very confident of finding the birthplaces of new suns with FAST in the future.

“The high sensitivity of FAST and its advantage in sky coverage will enable us to study the molecular clouds in the Milky Way, as well as in the Andromeda Galaxy, adjacent to our galaxy,” Li said.

“We also plan to cooperate with the Milky Way Image Scroll Project of the Purple Mountain Observatory to catch the dark clouds at birth, and to study how many new suns will be born in our galaxy,” said Li.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday called for equal dialogue based on mutual respect and adherence to multilateral trade rules in addressing economic and trade problems.

Relevant sides should never readily resort to protectionism and unilateralism, Xi said at the fifth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia held in Tajikistan.

A woman takes pictures at a showroom in the Museum of the War of the Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression on Friday which commemorates the 70th anniversary of the recovery of sovereignty over Taiwan after 50 years of Japanese occupation. Photo: Li Hao/GT

The Eight Hundred, a Chinese war epic, was withdrawn from opening the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) on Saturday due to “technical reasons,” makers of the film announced on their Sina Weibo account.

Some left-wing commentators have criticized the film for having a “one-sided narrative” of the Kuomintang’s (KMT) role in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1931-45), and some observers and net users claimed this was why the movie was withdrawn at the last minute.

Although it failed to make its debut at the opening ceremony of SIFF, the film crew appeared on the red carpet on Saturday night. As the first Chinese-language film filmed entirely on an IMAX camera, moviegoers were eagerly awaiting the film.

The film is based on a real event, the defense of the Sihang Warehouse in Shanghai in 1937. About 400 Chinese KMT soldiers, who persuaded Japanese attackers that there were actually 800 soldiers inside, managed to defend it for three months. However, their heroism ended in tragedy when all of them were killed.

Their mission was to contain and distract Japanese troops to allow thousands of Chinese civilians to escape the warzone to get to safety in the foreign settlements of Shanghai.

The KMT was the ruling party of China during World War II and cooperated with the Communist Party of China (CPC) to fight against Japanese aggression, but after the war ended, the KMT launched a civil war against the CPC which ended in defeat and the KMT’s retreat to the island of Taiwan.

According to a left-wing Chinese website,, the motivation for the film’s creation was discussed by 17 left-wing commentators during a “red culture” seminar which took place a week before SIFF’s opening night. Although left-wing commentators Sima Nan and Guo Songmin praised the patriotism and sacrifices of the KMT soldiers, they said that defeat in the Battle of Shanghai was caused by the KMT’s corruption and failed military leadership, and the film did not tell the whole picture of the history, which should not be encouraged.

The film’s official release date, July 5, was announced in April, according to Shanghai-based new portal website, so this suggests that the film has already received a permit to be shown in cinemas from the China Film Administration.

The memorial hall on the battlefield of Sihang Warehouse was designated as one of China’s patriotic education bases in 2015, and it is also a national-level education base for students of primary and middle schools. This means that the battle of Sihang Warehouse fought by the KMT soldiers is well-recognized by both Chinese people and the government.

As of press time, there is no confirmation as to whether the movie’s July release will go ahead as planned.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, shakes hands with delegates attending the 13th Party Congress of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force in Beijing, capital of China, June 18, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday met with delegates attending the 13th Party Congress of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force in Beijing.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, extended congratulations on the convening of the congress and sincere greetings to all the delegates and service personnel of the Air Force.

He shook hands and took a group photo with the delegates.

The 13th Party congress of the PLA Air Force opened on Monday in Beijing, during which the delegates discussed how to thoroughly implement Xi’s thinking on strengthening the military and the military strategy for the new era.

They reviewed the work related to the Party building and military building of the Air Force over the past five years, and drafted major plans for the next five years.

The congress is aimed at mobilizing service personnel to push forward the building of a strong and modern air force, and to accomplish the missions and tasks of the new era.

The planned Shenzhen-Zhuhai high-speed rail has been included in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao (Intercity) Rail Construction Plan, according to a report Thursday, quoting an official with Zhuhai’s transport bureau.

The 80-km high-speed rail will start at Xili Station in Nanshan District and run westward across the Pearl River to Zhuhai North Railway Station. It will be connected with the Guangzhou-Jiangmen-Zhuhai-Macao high-speed rail at Hezhou Railway Station.

The Xili Station will serve as the rail’s interchange station with Shenzhen-Huizhou Intercity Railway, the Ganzhou-Shenzhen High-speed Rail and Shenzhen-Maoming High-speed Rail, the report said.

Currently, it takes nearly three hours to drive to Zhuhai from Shenzhen. The traveling time will be shortened after the Shenzhen-Zhongshan Corridor is completed.

According to Guangzhou’s overall land development plan for 2018 to 2035, which is seeking public opinions, the 210-km Guangzhou-Jiangmen-Zhuhai-Macao high-speed rail will run along the west bank of the Pearl River from Guangzhou Railway Station to Hengqin Checkpoint in Zhuhai, where it will be connected with Macao’s light rail.

The 200-km Guangzhou-Zhongshan-Zhuhai-Macao high-speed rail will start at Guangzhou North Railway Station and run through eastern Guangzhou before reaching Zhongshan and Zhuhai.

The intercity high-speed rail will connect Zhuhai, Macao and Zhongshan with Guangzhou East Railway Station, Guangzhou Railway Station and Pazhou Station.


A woman and a child make Zongzi, a kind of rice dumpling wrapped up with bamboo leaves, as part of the traditional folk customs to celebrate the upcoming Duanwu Festival in Zigui County of Yichang, central China’s Hubei Province, May 29, 2019. Duanwu Festival is traditionally celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month on Chinese lunar calendar. (Xinhua/Zheng Jiayu)

The second Italian Film Week, organized by the Consulate General of Italy in Guangzhou, is going to be held in both Guangzhou and Shenzhen between June 14th and 19th, showcasing four Italian movies to locals and expats alike.

According to the organizer, the four selected films are aimed at viewers of all ages and want to illustrate to the public the culture and lifestyle of modern Italy, especially the lives of young people.

If you have already developed a fascination and affinity for Italy, you will certainly be interested in the themes and stories covered in these films. If you know little about this country and would like to explore its culture and history, these films would make a good starting point.

The Italian Film Week, an initiative jointly promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and MIBACT (Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism), is held annually in more than 100 cities around the world with the aim of promoting quality Italian film productions abroad, with the support of the diplomatic consular network and Italian cultural institutes.

Schedule of the second Italian Film Week?

How to get to the venues?

Venue 1: Cinema Palace, IGC

Add.: No. 222 Xingming Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou (广州天河区兴民路222号天汇广场IGC百丽宫影城)

Metro: Line 5 to Liede Station (猎德站), Exit B

Venue 2: Broadway Cinematheque

Add.: 5/F, MixC World, Nanshan District, Shenzhen (深圳南山区深圳万象天地五楼深圳百老汇电影中心)

Metro: Line 1 to Hi-tech Park Station (高新站), Exit A

Author: Monica Liu

Editor: Simon Haywood

Cargo trucks at a railway container freight center in Manzhouli, a border port with Russia, in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Sept. 6, 2018. (Xinhua)

A China-Europe freight train loaded with nearly 400 tonnes of goods worth 5.37 million U.S. dollars left the Dalang Train Station in Guangzhou, capital of southern China’s Guangdong Province, and headed for Moscow on Tuesday.

The train will go through the Manzhouli Port on the China-Russia border. The whole journey will take about half a month.

“We used to transport goods by sea, first to Hamburg or Rotterdam, and then to Russia by rail; it took about 60 days,” said He Wang, general manager of NBC Global Logistics Co. Ltd. “The China-Europe freight trains have shortened the transport time by at least two thirds and have also helped save logistics, warehousing and other costs.”

Statistics from the Guangzhou Customs show that the products from the Pearl River Delta region accounted for 90 percent of the goods transported by the “Guangzhou-Manzhouli-Russia” China-Europe freight trains, with LED lighting products increasing by 33 percent year on year and mobile communication products rising by 120 percent from the previous year.

Guangzhou Customs said that currently, the goods shipped by the China-Europe freight trains have shifted from traditional labor-intensive products such as clothes, shoes and hats to high-value-added commodities such as computers, telecommunications and electronics.

Among these goods for export, electric products are widely welcomed, especially mobile phones. In the first four months of 2019, Guangdong Province exported more than 2 million mobile phones worth nearly 700 million yuan (101.2 million U.S. dollars) to Russia via the Guangzhou Customs, marking a year-on-year increase of more than four times.

Aerial photo taken on Feb. 12, 2019 shows the night view of the Huacheng Square and Canton Tower in Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong Province. (Xinhua)

Bilateral trade between China and Russia has seen rapid growth. China has been Russia’s largest trading partner for eight consecutive years, and the bilateral trade volume exceeded 100 billion U.S. dollars in 2018.

The China-Europe freight trains shuttling between Guangzhou and Russia have also played an important role in the development of the regional economy. Starting from the end of July 2018 trains transport not only domestic goods but also goods from Southeast Asian countries to Russia.

He Wang said that nearly 70 percent of his company’s cargo, mainly clothing, shoes, bags and others, destined for Russia, comes from Vietnam, Cambodia and other Southeast Asian countries. The company has also seen a surge in the freight volume heading for Russia in recent years.

At the same time, the China-Europe freight trains transported timber, agricultural products and other goods from Russia back to Chinese cities during return trips.

Huang Zhongxi, general manager of Guangzhou Dashunfa Logistics Co. Ltd., said that in the second half of 2018, they arranged 18 return trains from Hamburg and Moscow to transport goods to Guangdong via Chengdu.

As a hub city on the Belt and Road, Guangzhou will play a more important role in the future, said Huang.

Dongguan’s movie box office sales have been rising steadily these past few years. Dongguan box office receipts hit 596 million RMB in 2016, 754 million RMB in 2017, then 809 million RMB in 2018 setting yet a new record. It also ranks Dongguan’s box office receipts firmly in third place for Guangdong Province and 15th in the country.

China’s film market has seen unprecedented sales in 2018. Annual box office receipts of Chinese movies reached 60.695 billion RMB in 2018, 4.056 billion higher than 2017 and setting a new record.

Compared with Shenzhen’s 2.266 billion RMB (first in Guangdong Province, third in the country) and Guangzhou’s 2.223 billion RMB (second in Guangdong, fourth in the country), Dongguan’s 809 million RMB seems small. However, aside from the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, all cities ranking higher than Dongguan are provincial capital cities.

There are more than 130 cinemas in Dongguan, with most residents living within 15 minutes of any cinema. The convenience of facilities and the cultivation of movie consumption habits have made the Dongguan film market one of the most active markets in China. Dongguan has also become a crucial market for major films.

In 2017, “Wolf Warrior 2” was a standout success, with box office receipts in Dongguan reaching 97.126 million RMB. However, in 2018, there were 13 films with Dongguan box office receipts exceeding 20 million RMB, versus 6 in 2017. Generally, Dongguanese movie tastes are consistent with national consensus. “Operation Red Sea” with sales of 48.639 million RMB became the 2018 box office champion in Dongguan, followed by “Dying to Survive” (45.585 million RMB) and “Detective Chinatown 2” (400.02 million RMB).

Based on box office sales, 2018 was a success for domestic films. Of the 13 films grossing more than 20 million RMB, 8 were domestic films with most maintaining a good reputation. This indicates that local Dongguanese are becoming more and more discerning in film choices.

A new regulation on the application and granting of residence permits for Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan residents living in the Chinese mainland was published Sunday.

The regulation, published on the official website of the State Council, will take effect on September 1.

It was promulgated to provide more convenience in terms of study, work, business operation, and life for residents from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan living in the mainland, and ensure their rights and interests, the document said.

Applicants must have lived in the mainland for more than six months and be able to show proof of either a legitimate and stable job, a legitimate and stable residential address, or ongoing school attendance.

Eligible applicants may apply for the permit on a voluntary basis.

The new residence permits will carry ID numbers beginning with 810000, 820000, and 830000 for residents from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan respectively, following the national standard for ID numbers, according to the regulation. The residence permits will be issued by the public security departments of county-level governments and will be valid for up to five years.

The regulation asked public security organs at all levels to actively coordinate with authorities in charge of education, civil affairs, judicial administration, social security, housing, health care, and other areas to safeguard the rights and interests of the permit holders.

According to the regulation, holders of the new residence permit will be able to use it to register vehicles, apply for driver’s licenses, and take professional qualification exams. They will also be able to purchase tickets online, check-in at hotels, and use financial services.

The regulation also stipulated the duties of confidentiality of related authorities and staff regarding the privacy and other information they obtain from permit holders.